It's Friday again, and that means game prediction time. The 9-0 Irish take on spoiler Boston College. The Eagles have been a thorn in Notre Dame's side for many years, and sitting at 2-7 currently, they'd like nothing better than to ruin ND's dream season. Will they do just that?
Every year we discuss this game. Every year I predict a close game or a defeat. Every year Irish fans get mad at me for doing it. They tell me I'm being overly negative and to "man-up." The reason why I predict this type of game between these two schools is because it almost always happens.
Notre Dame was supposed to be far superior last year. It didn't matter. Notre Dame won by two points. For whatever reason, Notre Dame just doesn't get excited to play Boston College, but the Eagles sure get fired up to play the Irish.
Normally I'd be picking a close game in this game, but two things make me hesitant to do that. One: last week the Irish struggled with a lack of focus, and I doubt that happens again. Two: Boston College is just a bad football team. They just don't have the horses to hang with the Irish, even if Notre Dame isn't 100 percent mentally.
I see ND playing well, but I also think the game is going to be closer than some Irish fans think.
Notre Dame: 28 Boston College: 6
Notre Dame continues their hot streak on the road and lays one on a Boston College team that never knew what hit them. The most noticeable difference between the two teams is the domination of the Irish offensive and defensive lines. The defensive line records seven sacks against Chase Rettig and the Irish offensive line paves the way for just over 250 rushing yards.
Everett Golson takes care of the football, runs the offense efficiently, and is becoming a respected leader of Irish offense. Tommy Rees plays just about the entire fourth quarter in relief duty.
The Irish put up points in a multitude of ways against the Eagles and touchdowns are scored on three of their first four possessions. The defense holds BC to negative yards rushing and only 49 passing yards in the first half. They have no answers Manti Te’o, Prince Shembo, and the rest of the Notre Dame defense as they’re shut out the first two quarters of the contest.
In the second half the Irish dash any hopes Boston College may have at a comeback with two touchdowns on their first two possessions. Late in the third quarter Te’o drops back into pass coverage and takes a Danny Spond tipped ball almost 55-yards for the second defensive touchdown of the year.
The fourth quarter isn’t much to look at from a competitive standpoint as both team use mass substitutions and are eager to run the ball in order to keep the clock moving.
Notre Dame: 45 Boston College: 3
This one is never close as Notre Dame scores on its first three offensive possessions while the Irish defense returns to where it was before the Pittsburgh game. Quarterback Everett Golson has as encouraging a performance as anyone, throwing for a pair of scores and running for another. He also converts several third-downs with his arm and legs while avoiding any big mistakes. Freshman Chris Brown catching his first career touchdown on a long play at the start of the second quarter that creates serious space between the Irish and the Eagles.
The large margin of victory allows Brian Kelly to get some young players and reserves into the game for valuable experience, but they do allow Boston College's only touchdown of the game.
Notre Dame: 31 Boston College: 10
If Notre Dame players learned nothing else last week it is that they cannot sleep walk through a game against an inspired opponent and expect not to be challenged. Head coach Brian Kelly reminded them this week to play with the ‘head’ of a champion, and those heads should expect to be smacked – at least for a while – by Boston College players when the teams meet in Chestnut Hill.
Unlike Pittsburgh, which at least had a semblance of an above average running game, BC shows no real signs of offensive balance. Their top running back, Andre Williams, was injured in last week’s loss to Wake Forest and his status is uncertain for Saturday. Williams has accounted for nearly 86-percent of the Eagles’ rushing yards this season. Their main offensive weapon is receiver Alex Amidon, who has 1,073 of the offense’s 2,608 yards. The imbalance makes for easy targets for the Irish defense.
The Boston College defense is a sieve as well, allowing 235 rushing yards a game and nearly 290 through the air. Head coach Frank Spaziani runs the defense and could stump youngster Everett Golson from time to time, but the Irish should be able to run the ball enough to negate any issues.
The Irish have won their four games away from Notre Dame Stadium by an average of 28 points. They narrowly beat BC by two points at home last year, but downed the Eagles by 18 on the road two years ago. Is Notre Dame ready for a bounce-back after learning its lesson against Pitt last week? All signs point to Yes.
Notre Dame: 32 Boston College: 10